When the body lacks or has excess of any of the basic constituent elements, the metabolic system becomes unbalanced and causes illness. Dry ginger is a substance which restores the balance, by making up the deficiency or counteracting the excess. Nama, in a similar fashion, removes the obstacles posed by certain qualities or short-comings in an aspirant and ensures his smooth spiritual progress. So, whatever may be the obstructing tendencies, if the aspirant chants nama persistently and with firm faith, his spiritual path is cleared, and the attainment of the goal is ensured.
It is the practice with some of us to maintain an ever- burning oil lamp beside the idol of a deity. Naturally, a supply of oil to the lamp has to be maintained. Similarly, one who desires that his lamp of bliss be maintained, must feed it with nama constantly; in other words, he must live in nama; for, that bliss has its very root in nama. Just as coldness is a property of ice all over the world, so bliss is bound to be where God is.
I would readily approve the doctrine ‘Eat, drink, and be merry’ but for the fact that it is based on the physical body, which is itself impermanent, and the joy vanishes no sooner than the affluence declines. Man, on the other hand, should learn to be happy irrespective of the circumstances.
Learn to be one with God, if only for five minutes a day; the joy of those five minutes will surpass mere living for a hundred years, just as mere haranguing for an hour on the sweetness of sugar cannot equal the pleasure of actually tasting even a pinch of sugar. It is true that there is joy in living, but the living that has no joy in it is worse than death. He alone can have a joyful life who lives in God. So one who really wants to ‘live’ should chant nama.
Shri Samartha prayed that he ever remain united with God; while Shri Tukaram prayed, ‘let me never forget Thee.’ The plain reason for such prayers is that where there is God there is pure, permanent bliss. We should resolve to be happy in the present, leaving unhappiness for the never-dawning ‘tomorrow.’ For, one who learns to maintain a blissful mind in chanting nama will enjoy himself all the time.
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